The 80th Interpol General Assembly has warned against increasing transnational and cybercrime and called for better cooperation among member countries to tackle the problem fuelled by rapid globalization and growth of the Internet.
"Criminals are quick to take advantage of the rapid technological developments and the prevalence of the Internet, and we should anticipate cybercrime to grow in scale, sophistication and impact," said Interpol President Khoo Boon Hui at the General Assembly held from October 31 November 3 in Hanoi.
"To successfully confront this global crime threat, it requires a holistic approach that involves stakeholders from both the public and private sectors," Hui said, adding that the Interpol Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI) is an example of such collaboration.
A recent study by IT security company Norton estimates that the annual global cost of cybercrime is close to US$400 billion, surpassing the total global sale of marijuana and cocaine on the black market.
The same study also indicates that 14 adults become victims of cybercrime every second, resulting in over a million cybercrime victims daily.
Ronald Noble, Interpol General Secretary, said police around the world are progressively losing what he called "the luxury of dealing with and identifying criminals face-to-face."
"Ten years ago, roughly eight per cent of the world population had access to the internet about 360 million individuals. Today, they exceed two billion. In 15 years, both the world population and the cyber population will grow by one billion more," he said.
"They will be communicating with one another in any of the 7,000 or so languages spoken in the world today."
Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc told the meeting that Vietnam
had been directly affected by complicated transnational cybercrimes.
"We are aware that transnational crime prevention requires concerted efforts among countries and global police cooperation needs to be strengthened through Interpol to better fight these crimes," he said.
Lieutenant General Tran Dai Quang, Vietnam's Minister of Public Security, said globalization and international integration have brought about sizable benefits to countries in the world. But he added that they also pose many new challenges and difficulties to law enforcement agencies, in particular the police in every country.
"The activities of cross-border organized criminals have become more and more complicated. It is a must to have closer and more effective cooperation among law enforcement forces, the core of which are the national police of countries all over the world," he said.
The four-day meeting brought together some 630 police chiefs and senior law enforcement officials from 142 countries to address a range of issues including enhanced use of Interpol's tools to combat crimes including online sexual exploitation of children, maritime piracy, firearms trafficking and fugitive investigations.